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LEGAL NEWS - MARCH 2006


LAST CHANCE FOR LEGISLATIVE DAY 2006 – IMPORTANT BILLS UP THIS YEAR! 

This could be one of the most important years for property managers and landlords legislatively. The Domestic Violence Bill has been introduced again, the bill relating to Sexual Offender/Predator Rentals and criminal liability to property managers is still alive, the bill clarifying the ability to legally charge Liquidated Damages to tenants who breach their lease is hot, there is a bill allowing individuals to put a freeze on the release of their credit reports, and a Mold Remediator/Inspector Certification bill has been reintroduced. If you are really concerned about your profession and livelihood, you MUST be there!!

Click here for
FAA Legislative Day Info 
Click here for FARPM Legislative Day Info

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BACK TO BASICS WITH YOUR FORMS AND NOTICES 

Legal forms and notices come from a variety of sources. Self-help legal guides abound, your company may get notices and forms from its corporate office, you may have attended a legal seminar at one time, or you may just have been using the same forms and notice for years. Our office often sees outdated forms being used that we gave out at classes 15 years ago. Times have changed, and your notices and forms need to change and be updated as well. These are the tools of your trade, and these tools may be old, tired, or possibly illegal.  Click below to download the latest forms and notices, or call our office for a free CD ROM with over 80 forms and notices.

Click here to download the latest forms and notices.

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MANAGING IN CONDO OR HOMEOWNER ASSOCIATIONS    

The tenant just moved in, and now the condo association is demanding that the tenant remove the prohibited truck from the premises. Prohibited? Whoops. The condo association never required that you get board approval of the tenant, but now all of a sudden says you failed to get approval, wants the tenant out, and this has been the rule for years. Approval? Whoops. You put four tenants into a home and the homeowner’s association informs you that no more than 3 unrelated people can live in the home. Unrelated? Whoops. There are so many pitfalls that await a careless landlord who fails to do the homework necessary when renting units controlled by condo or homeowners associations. Have you done your homework?

Click here for an article on landlording in a condo or homeowner's association

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THE IMPORTANCE OF THE MOLD ADDENDUM   

Most landlords are finally using some sort of Mold Addendum due to the problems related to mold and the press which mold has been getting as of late. The Mold Addendum often addresses the tenant’s obligations to keep the premises mold free and the requirements on the tenant in the event there is mold on the premises.  The problem with most mold addendums that are in use is that they really do not address what the landlord can do with regard to the tenant if mold is present on the premises, or if the landlord needs the tenant to vacate to rectify the mold problem.

 

Click here to see how the Mold Addendum can work for you

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QUICK Q&A – CAN A TENANT BREAK A LEASE FOR A JOB TRANSFER?  

The quick answer is NO. There is absolutely nothing in Florida law that allows a tenant to break a lease due to a job transfer. Can the landlord and tenant agree and place a job transfer clause in the lease or create an addendum at a later time? Yes, but this clause should clearly state how, when and under exactly what circumstances the tenant may break the lease. This will include notice requirements, distance requirements of the job transfer and all other elements of the agreement. Always avoid verbal agreements when a tenant asks to break a lease due to a job transfer.

 

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THANKS FOR THE REFERRAL BUT… - EVICTIONS FOR INDIVIDUAL LANDLORDS    

Many of our property management clients are kind enough to refer business our way, and we are grateful for confidence in our firm. Sometimes though, the referral is given to a landlord who has no experience at all in managing property, lives out of state, or has completely botched up the situation. We review each case prior to making a decision to accept the case, and often, but not always, we turn down the representation of that landlord.  The landlord you referred to us then goes back to you and complains that we refused the case, and you are shocked!  Our firm likes to deal with quality professional property managers and property owners who have knowledge and experience in managing their own property. Just as a good property manager will not accept what is perceived as a problem owner, our firm as well makes this choice on a case by case basis. Thanks for the referrals!

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INDUSTRY LEADER OF THE MONTH - PETE REGULES

Pete Regules is originally from Ohio, (yes, he is still a huge Buckeye fan), but has called Florida home since 1986. He has worked for CORT Business Services for over 23 years and currently holds the position of Supervising District General Manager for Central Florida. CORT Business Services helps businesses and individuals in transition, specifically relocation and furniture rental services. Pete’s goal in his industry is to be a resource to those around him.

Over the years, Pete has held a variety of leadership positions with the Apartment Association of Greater Orlando and the Florida Apartment Association. He has served in many capacities, from being a committee chair to the Associate Vice President of both organizations. He is probably best known in the multifamily housing industry as the “Doctor of Fun.” (If your event needs a “Free MC” or a jolt of fun, all you need to do is call the “Doctor”!)  Pete is also very involved in the community. His role as the “Doctor of Fun” led him to Community Coordinated Care for Children (4C). 4C provides information, resources and programs that work to support families and child care professionals. He currently serves as 4C’s Board Chairman. Pete’s favorite quote is “It’s less expensive to build a child than to repair an adult”.

Pete is a founding member of the Condo Resource Alliance (CRA) and currently serves as the Chairman of the CRA and “Free MC”. The CRA is a networking group dedicated to helping condominium investors and their Real Estate Agents build resources to help increase the occupancy of investor-owned units.

Just to add a little extra to Pete’s busy schedule, he is the “on field” voice of the Orlando Predators; the 2 time World Champion of the Arena Football League. (Yes, he decides who wins the free t-shirts, and he keeps the crowd on their feet.)  When Pete is not working or volunteering his time to a children’s charity, you’ll find him on a sand volleyball court somewhere in Florida. Pete has won 11 double’s titles on the Bud Light Volleyball tour, as well as serving as the tour’s announcer. His corporate team is also the 4 time defending champion of the volleyball portion of Charity Challenge held annually in Central Florida.  When asked how to be successful in this ever changing industry, Pete said, “Be involved, be active, be a resource, develop partnerships and have fun!”

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THE FAIR HOUSING CORNER - PROTECTING YOURSELF FROM FAIR HOUSING CLAIMS                             By Cathy L. Lucrezi, Attorney at Law

A reality of property management and being a  landlord is that at some point, someone is going to complain about your actions.  That complaint can become a Fair Housing Claim.  Inevitable?  Maybe.  A disaster?  No.  There are several tips you can follow to reduce your risks.
 

Click here to learn how to protect yourself from Fair Housing Claims

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In this issue:

Legislative Day 2006

Forms and Notices

Managing in Condo or Homeowner Association

Mold Addendum

Lease Breaking for Job Transfer

Evictions for Individual Landlords

Industry Leader of the Month

Fair Housing Corner

 
 

April
Legal Holiday Alert

Do not forget to exclude this Legal Holiday when preparing your Three Day Notices in April 2006!

14 - Good Friday

 
 

Legal News Archive:

October 2004

November 2004

December 2004

January 2005

February 2005

March 2005

April 2005

May 2005

June 2005

July 2005

August 2005

September 2005

October 2005

November 2005

December 2005

January 2006

February 2006

   
   

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Law Offices of Heist, Weisse & Lucrezi, P.A.

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Law Offices of Heist, Weisse & Lucrezi, P.A.
Phone: 1-800-253-8428     Fax: 1-800-367-9038
Serving Florida's Property Managers with offices in Orlando, Tampa, and Fort Myers Beach, Principal Office